It’s well understood that a private company can do as they please when it comes to the decisions they make about how they operate. They can cater to any niche they desire. After all, that is part of the essence of free enterprise.
Problems arise, though, when private companies make decisions on what customers to serve based on idealogical, moral, or political reasons. We are seeing this play right now with some really large tech and social media giants. When you get too big for your britches, it can be easy to forget about ‘the base’ that got you there.
Out of the blue
Last week I woke up to an email from the Mailchimp compliance department. It simply read:
MailChimp is not able to serve as the email provider for your account with the username SurfNinja, because the content associated with your industry conflicts with our Acceptable Use Policy (mailchimp.com/legal/acceptable_use) or presents a significant risk to our deliverability.
And just like that…my emails stopped!
But hold on Mailchimp. That’s my money!
Fortunately, most of my list is with Mailerlite at this point. But, wow, what a headache to carry everything over. Alot of hard work had been put into building what I had on Mailchimp. I had customers to connect with.
Perhaps I’m wrong, but I honestly don’t see what’s so controversial about my content. It’s about medical cannabis, cbd oil, and network and online marketing.
After reaching out to compliance and support, there has still been no response from either. I still don’t have any specifics, or any recourse to appeal.
A warning to affiliates?
With everything said so far, it is not my specific intent to discourage users from using Mailchimp services, but to be aware of their ability to stop your business cold should they decide to. Mailchimp still has world class deliverability and a wonderful suite of tools.
After reading the acceptable use policy linked above, I noticed one section, listed under prohibited content, which caught my attention:
Some industries have higher-than-average abuse complaints, which can jeopardize the deliverability of our entire system. Nothing personal, but in order to maintain the highest delivery rates possible for all our customers, we can’t allow businesses that offer these types of services, products, or content:
- Escort and dating services
- Pharmaceutical products
- Work from home, make money online, and lead generation opportunities
- Gambling services or products
- Multi-level marketing
- Affiliate marketing
- Credit repair and get out of debt opportunities
- List brokers or list rental services
- Selling “Likes” or followers for a social media platform
Also, we cannot allow businesses involved in any aspect of the sale, transaction, exchange, storage, marketing or production of cryptocurrencies, virtual currencies, and any digital assets related to an Initial Coin Offering, to use MailChimp to facilitate or support any of those activities.”
Wait! Do I see MLM, affiliate marketing, and work from home opportunities listed as prohibited content? And no Crypto entrepreneurs? Has it always been like this, or when did this change? And who do think were the core customers at the beginning, Mailchimp?
Maybe I’m conflating this with something that isn’t really there. Or Maybe I am completely off base. At least I was able to recover quickly.
My sincerest hope for those reading is to take this information in as part of your considerations when choosing an autoresponder/automation provider.
If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.